Last month, on vacation in the mountains, I hiked along side a brook, and the sound of rushing water weaving through rocks, on a brilliantly sunny afternoon, had me feeling deep gratitude, inner peace and quite fortunate. Unexpectedly, under a canopy of snow covered trees, a bride and groom, and their photographer, appeared. Being a romantic, I was enchanted. What magic! The scene was entirely perfect — so much hope, love, joy.
You probably could guess, I cry at weddings.
I smiled at the happy couple. “Good luck,” I chirped.
“We don’t need luck,” the groom barked.
I was stunned by his off-putting and ungracious response.
I said nothing to him but smirking, under my breath, I mumbled, “That’s what you think, Buddy.”
After over three decades of marriage, I believe I’ve earned the right to weigh in on this topic. I agree with Patty Duke who said, “No matter what your laundry list of requirements in choosing a mate, there has to be an element of good luck.”
The problem arises, I think, in the the definition of luck, which is that success or failure are brought by chance rather than through one’s actions.
This assumes that luck is destiny, out of our hands entirely, which in some cases may be true.
But not in every case, and trust me, in terms of marriage, I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to turn my nose up to luck, or to any passing well-wishers.
P.S. I am a huge fan of the Modern Love essay in the style section of the New York Times. After I wrote this post, I read this week’s essay, which online is titled, What Luck Means Now. Interestingly enough the original title was, “What ‘Husband’ Means Now.” I’ve included the link here, and encourage you to read it. The essay is a wonderful illustration of luck — both good and bad, and the sketchy place in between.